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Orange County Focus

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO : District Can Cut Class Sizes Slightly

September 09, 1993|ANNA CEKOLA

With more money left than expected after a fiscal year-end review, the Capistrano Unified School District will be able to slightly lower class sizes and increase funds for educational supplies.

District trustees Tuesday approved the $860,000 to fill an assistant principal job at the R.H. Dana Exceptional Needs Facility, partially restore previous cuts to educational supply and equipment funds and cut average class sizes by half a student.

The cut in average class sizes will cost about $650,000, since more teachers will be needed, officials said.

Board President Marlene Draper said she's pleased the district is able to cut class sizes, even slightly.

"It will make a difference districtwide," she said.

In the past two years, trustees were forced to increase class sizes because of budget cuts. Trustees have said their top priority would be lowering class sizes once money became available.

Average class sizes in the district range from about 29 and 31 students, depending on the grade level.

Earlier this summer, the district approved a $127-million 1993-94 fiscal year budget that spared academic programs from severe cuts.

To help cover a shortfall of about $4.6 million, the district drew from its $9.1-million reserve fund instead of making cuts in academic programs, as done in previous years.

The district will maintain a reserve balance of about 3% of its total budget, officials said.

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